World

Auctioned atomic blast watch ‘marks exact moment when history changed forever’

The watch is frozen in time at the moment of the detonation of an atomic bomb over Hiroshima on August 6 1945.

The watch melted during the bombing of Hiroshima (Nikki Brickett/RR Auction via AP)
Melted watch The watch melted during the bombing of Hiroshima (Nikki Brickett/RR Auction via AP) (Nikki Brickett/AP)

A watch that melted during the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6 1945 has sold for more than 31,000 dollars (£24,000) at auction.

The watch is frozen in time at the moment of the detonation of an atomic bomb over the Japanese city – 8.15am – during the closing days of the Second World War, according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The winning bid in the auction was 31,113 dollars.

The artefact was recovered from the ruins of Hiroshima and offers a glimpse into the immense destruction of the first atomic bomb detonated over a city.

The watch is frozen in time at the moment of the detonation of the atomic bomb (Nikki Brickett/RR Auction via AP)
Melted watch The watch is frozen in time at the moment of the detonation of the atomic bomb (Nikki Brickett/RR Auction via AP) (Nikki Brickett/AP)

The small brass-tone watch, a rare survivor from the blast zone, was auctioned alongside other historically significant items, according to the auction house.

Despite the cloudiness of the crystal caused by the blast, the watch’s hands remain halted at 8.15am – the moment when the B-29 Enola Gay dropped the “Little Boy” atomic bomb.

The auction house said that according to the item’s consignor, a British soldier retrieved the wristwatch from the ruins of the city while on a mission to provide emergency supplies and assess post-conflict reconstruction needs at the Prefectural Promotion Hall in Hiroshima.

“It is our fervent hope that this museum-quality piece will stand as a poignant educational symbol, serving to not only remind us of the tolls of war but also to underscore the profound, destructive capabilities that humanity must strive to avoid,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction.

“This wristwatch, for instance, marks the exact moment in time when history changed forever.”

The winning bidder opted to remain anonymous.